Are you ever discouraged by the apparent lack of progress in your personal journey of sanctification? I have found myself there more than usual recently as I grapple with the sinful desires of my heart.
It should not surprise me (but it does) that I still struggle so much with areas of sinfulness in my thoughts, beliefs, and desires. I so want to live in a way that brings God glory! I so want to live my days in service to Him and those He places on my pathway. I still battle daily with my heart as it stands in opposition to so much of what I know as truth. It is truly a war between the Spirit and the flesh within me, as I want what I want. I cannot claim ignorance of His Word or His ways.
God is working in my heart. God is the skillful surgeon, knowing how deep to penetrate His patient to expose the remaining cancer within. My heart is a literal idol factory and I am capable of taking wonderful, God-honoring things and perverting them into some form of idol that must be removed.
The surgery God performs is laser guided by the person of the Holy Spirit residing within me. The instrument is the Word of God that cuts me in the deepest, most tender parts of my being. He goes directly to the source of my trouble and pares and whittles away, gently yet firmly attacking the sin that must be removed from my heart.
The marvelous things about the Surgeon is His faithfulness to the task. There are no half-hearted measures or half-baked attempts. What He begins He will complete in His perfect timing. However, The Lord is not cruel in this process. I find that while He will cut deeply and search my heart; He only reveals as much as He knows I can handle. In His kindness I am allowed to heal before going under the sharp, double-edged sword again for more life changing surgery.
Where are you in this process? Are you first meeting your Surgeon, or do you have a long-standing relationship with Him? Are you heading for some intensive heart surgery or in a recovery phase? What I would not suggest is running from this or attempting to ignore God. He is wise and He is loving and knows what we need and sometimes in the midst of the pain is the healing.